Sky announces more original shows than ever before at UP NEXT 2022

Tuesday 17 May 2022

Sky has today announced its largest ever slate of new programming to be shown through 2022 and beyond, including a raft of new commissions across drama, comedy and original film.

Announced at the Up Next 2022 event at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane today, hosted by Claudia Winkleman, Sky will launch over 200 Sky Original shows across all genres this year – a 60% increase from 2021 and testament to Sky’s investment in the UK creative economy.

The showcase set out Sky’s promise to bring audiences the best TV shows from the UK, the US and Europe, featuring world-class talent including Kenneth Branagh, Suranne Jones, Katherine Ryan, Romesh Ranganathan, Keeley Hawes, Sheridan Smith, Billie Piper, Colin Farrell, Liam Hemsworth, Russell Crowe, Jodie Turner-Smith and Letitia Wright.

Amongst the new titles announced are a major adaptation of Heather Morris’ bestselling novel The Tattooist of Auschwitz, a life affirming and heartrending story of bravery and love in the darkest of places. And the return of the critically acclaimed dramas I Hate Suzie Too starring Billie Piper and COBRA: Rebellion starring Robert Carlyle.

Also announced were three new original comedies featuring some of the UK’s favourite talent, with Sheridan Smith in Rosie Molloy Gives Up Everything, Romesh Ranganathan and Katherine Ryan teaming up for Romantic Getaway, and there’s a new spin on a Christmas classic with Suranne Jones starring in Christmas Carole.

Adding to the line-up are a range of new Sky Original films; Letitia Wright stars in the tender and moving drama Aisha, Colin Farrell dazzles in the beguiling sci-fi drama After Yang, while Brian Cox, Jodie Turner-Smith, John Cena and Ann Dowd star in the political thriller, The Independent, and Russell Crowe directs and stars alongside Liam Hemsworth in the thriller Poker Face.

Sky also announced that one of the first projects to be filmed at Sky Studios Elstree will be Universal Pictures highly anticipated film adaptations of the hit musical Wicked, the untold story of the Witches of Oz. Wicked is based on the bestselling novel by Gregory Maguire and will be directed by filmmaker Jon M. Chu and produced by Marc Platt. When it opens later this year Sky Studios Elstree will house 13 studios and enable £3bn of production investment over the first five years of operation.

Speaking on the new commissions, Zai Bennett, Managing Director, Content Sky UK and Ireland, says Great stories have the power to help us connect with each other, and at its best entertainment isn’t something we watch, it’s something we feel and experience. That’s why we’re creating and investing in world-class original storytelling to give our customers even more of their favourite shows and films than ever before.

“We’re delighted to be working with some of the best UK and international talent, both on and off screen, to bring these stories to life. “

These newly announced shows join a raft of previously announced Sky Original TV series which are due to air on Sky in 2022, including This England starring Kenneth Branagh, The Midwich Cuckoos starring Keeley Hawes, Gangs of London Series 2 starring Sope Dirisu, Funny Woman staring Gemma Arterton, Brassic Series 4 staring Joe Gilgun and Michelle Keegan, alongside Sky Original films including The Amazing Maurice staring Gemma Arterton, Emilia Clarke and Hugh Laurie, and Borderlandstaring Colin Morgan, Aml Ameen, Felicity Jones and Mark Strong.

Meanwhile, key acquired shows for 2022 on Sky include Stephen Moffat’s serialised adaptation of The Time Traveler’s Wife, the returning hit The Flight Attendant Season 2 and the highly anticipated House of the Dragon.

Earlier this week Sky also announced as slate of new factual and entertainment programmes coming to screens this year

Sky grows original factual slate with six new commissions

Four brand new original shows announced for 2022 in Sky’s biggest year for entertainment

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Full details on the drama, comedy and original films announced today:

The Tattooist of Auschwitz – a Sky Original drama

Based on the global best-selling novel by Heather Morris, The Tattooist of Auschwitz is a six-part limited series, produced by Synchronicity Films, that tells the powerful true-life story of Lale Sokolov, a Jewish prisoner who is given the job of tattooing identification numbers on fellow prisoners’ arms in the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp during World War Two. One day, he meets Gita while she is waiting in line to be tattooed. They experience love at first sight, and so begins one of the most life-affirming, courageous, unforgettable and human stories of the Holocaust; a tale of the very best of humanity in the very worst of circumstances.

Made by Synchronicity Films in association with Sky Studios, The Tattooist of Auschwitz was commissioned by Gabriel Silver, Director of Commissioning, Drama at Sky Studios for Zai Bennett, Managing Director of Content, Sky UK. Serena Thompson is Executive Producer for Sky Studios. Claire Mundell is Executive Producer for Synchronicity Films. Lead Writer Jacquelin Perske is also an Executive Producer on the project. Evan Placey and Gabbie Asher are writers. Heather Morris is Story Consultant.

I Hate Suzie Too – a Sky Original drama

She’s back. And she’s dancing. Suzie Pickles steps back into the spotlight as the BAFTA® nominated and critically acclaimed Sky Original drama, from co-creators Lucy Prebble and Billie Piper returns.

I Hate Suzie Too sees the return of child star turned actress Suzie Pickles, (Billie Piper). Suzie has a new agent, new PR and a new job – dancing for likes on ‘Dance Crazee’, a reality TV competition that has the Saturday night audience hooked. Having lost everyone that matters to her, Suzie returns to her first love – the public.

Battling ex-husband Cob (Daniel Ings) with the help of estranged best friend Naomi (Leila Farzad), Suzie must try to keep life as stable as possible for her young son Frank (Matthew Jordan-Caws), all whilst staying on ‘Dance Crazee’ long enough to finance her new role as single mum and ex-wife.

In this three-part anti-Christmas Christmas special, Suzie fights to regain the love of the British public whilst her personal life spirals out of control. Will she win the hearts of the British public? And restore her reputation? And at what cost?

Made by Bad Wolf, in association with Sky Studios. The series is co-created and executive produced by Billie Piper and Lucy Prebble, who is also the writer. Julie Gardner and Andrea Dewsbery are executive producers for Bad Wolf and Alex Streeter is producer. Liz Lewin, Commissioning Editor for Sky Studios, serves as executive producer. Dawn Shadforth is directing.

COBRA: Rebellion – a Sky Original drama

In COBRA: Rebellion, we find Prime Minister Robert Sutherland and his government faced with a new crisis - a sinister rebellion from within. In a fraught climate where extreme eco-protests, arms deals and shadowy corporate security firms collide, Sutherland is forced to question everything, including what he is willing to sacrifice to remain in power.

Made by New Pictures, part of All3Media, in association with Sky Studios. The series is written and executive produced by Toby Finlay. Charlie Pattinson, Joe Donaldson, Willow Grylls and Elaine Pyke also serve as executive producers. Sam Hoyle is the executive producer for Sky Studios.

Rosie Molloy Gives Up Everything – a Sky Original comedy

Rosie Molloy (Sheridan Smith) is addicted to everything. Smoking, alcohol, Terry’s Chocolate Oranges, Xanax, Adderall, caffeine… the list goes on. After an embarrassing incident at her brother Joey’s wedding, she wakes up in hospital and decides to change her life by ‘giving up everything’.

But as Rosie juggles her father’s ill health and the possibility of losing her job, she has the dawning realisation that her addictions are destroying everything - her friendships, her family and her work life. Harder still is the realisation that perhaps it isn’t the addictions that are the problem. If Rosie really does give up everything, will she still be Rosie?

Produced by Hartswood Films for Sky Studios. Written by Susan Nickson, directed by David Sant and produced by Sarah Fraser. The executive producers are Elaine Cameron for Hartswood Films and Jon Mountague for Sky Studios.

Romantic Getaway – a Sky Original comedy

Allison (Katherine Ryan) and Deacon (Romesh Ranganathan) are desperate for a baby, but they’ve run out of money to fund any more IVF treatment. So they decide to ‘borrow’ the £50k they need from their filthy rich boss Alfie, who they discover is illegally creaming off money from the company. And it works! Except that, on a whim, Deacon secretly adds an extra nought to the transfer, and actually steals half a million quid. Also, Allison is secretly starting to doubt whether she wants a baby after all. Their web of lies kicks off a downward spiral into the criminal underworld of suburban Britain, and pushes them, and their plans for their future together, to the limit.

Romantic Getaway is a six-part, modern Bonnie and Clyde story mixing classic romantic comedy moments with high octane, thrilling set-pieces and stars two of Britain’s most loved comedy talents, Romesh Ranganathan and Katherine Ryan.

Produced by Ranga Bee and Sky Studios. Written by Romesh Ranganathan and Ben Green with Sarah Morgan and Elaine Gracie, directed by Shaun Wilson and produced by Caroline Norris. The executive producers are Ben Green and Michelle Farr-Scott for Ranga Bee and Anil Gupta and Jon Mountague for Sky Studios.

Christmas Carole – a Sky Original comedy

A yuletide story of our times, with apologies to Charles Dickens. BAFTA Award-winning Suranne Jones stars in this seasonal new Sky Original. Carole Mackay (Jones) is an unashamedly outspoken and wealthy entrepreneur. Her online business selling all things festive has earned her a fortune, as well as the nickname ‘Christmas Carole’.

But her success hasn’t made her a better human being. In fact, it’s made her worse. The truth is that Carole is a monumentally mean person. Positively Scrooge-like. And, just like Ebeneezer, she doesn’t love Christmas at all. But this Christmas Eve, Carole’s past, present and future are about to collide. Will some rather familiar Christmas spirits help her discover the true spirit of Christmas?

Produced by Sky Studios. Written by Anil Gupta and Richard Pinto, directed by Ian Fitzgibbon and produced by Gareth Edwards. The executive producers are Suranne Jones and Jon Mountague for Sky Studios.

After Yang – a Sky Original film

After Yang tells the story of a family who lose their A.I helper, and the profound feelings that the experience induces. When his young daughter's beloved companion — an android named Yang (Justin H. Min) — malfunctions, Jake (Colin Farrell) searches for a way to repair him. In the process, Jake discovers the life that has been passing in front of him, reconnecting with his wife (Jodie Turner-Smith) and daughter (Malea Emma Tjandrawidjaja) across a distance he didn't know was there.

Directed and written by Kogonada, based on the short story by Alexander Weinstein. Produced by Theresa Park, Andrew Goldman, Caroline Kaplan, Paul Mezey.

Poker Face – a Sky Original film

A group of childhood friends get together every year for a poker night hosted by tech billionaire Jake Foley (Russell Crowe) in his palatial residence. Only this time, they all have a hidden agenda for their host and his money. But little do they know Jake also has an ace or two up his sleeve. Murder and mayhem don’t even come close to describing the night that is in store for them. Jake will need to bluff, double bluff, and double-cross to have even the slightest chance of getting himself and his family through this hellish night. Directed by and starring Russell Crowe, alongside Liam Hemsworth .

Poker Face is produced by Gary Hamilton (Arclight Films) and Keith Rodger (Fear Of God Films). Also producing is Arclight Films’ Ying Ye and Ryan Hamilton (Academy Award® nominated First Reformed, Hotel Mumbai, Possessor), actor/producer Addam Bramich, Catchlight Studios’ Jeanette Volturno (Academy Award® winner Whiplash, Get Out) and Jason Clark (Ted & Ted 2, Emmy Award winner® Cosmos A Spacetime Odyssey), as well as Matt Williams (Twist, Killers Anonymous). Arclight Films’ Brian Beckmann, Walter Josten, Joe Thomas, Mikael Borglund, Romilda De Luca and Alceon Entertainment Partners are executive producing, alongside Julia Stuart and Laura Grange from Sky.

Aisha – a Sky Original film

Aisha (Letitia Wright), a young Nigerian woman seeking asylum in Ireland, is floundering in a maze of social services and bureaucracy. Alone and unwilling to sacrifice her dignity to satisfy the demands of the authorities, she finds an ally in Conor (Josh O’Connor), an employee at her residence home, a local young man with a troubled past of his own. Together they struggle to maintain their tender friendship in the face of Aisha’s increasingly dire predicament and her rapidly diminishing options. Starring Letitia Wright and Josh O’Connor.

AISHA is produced by Tristan Orpen Lynch, Aoife O’Sullivan, Donna Eperon and Sam Bisbee. The executive producers are Hallee Adelman, Ivy Herman, Jenifer Westphal, Joe Plummer, Lance Acord, Jackie Kelman Bisbee, Wendy Neu, William Byerley, George Rush, Alison Thomposon and Mark Gooder. Rose Garnett is executive producer for BBC Film and Celine Haddad is executive producer for Screen Ireland.

The Independent – a Sky Original film

A political thriller where investigative journalist Eli ‘follows the money’ and uncovers a conspiracy that hits closer to home than she first thought. Starring Brian Cox, Jodie Turner-Smith, John Cena and Ann Dowd.

It’s the final weeks of the most consequential presidential election in history. America is poised to elect either its first female president (Ann Dowd) or its first viable independent candidate (John Cena). Reporting history as it’s made, an idealistic young journalist (Jodie Turner-Smith) teams up with her idol, legendary journalist Nick Booker (Brian Cox), to uncover a conspiracy that places the fate of the election, and the country, in their hands.

Directed by Amy Rice and written by Evan Parter. Julia Stuart and Laura Grange (Sky), David Robbins, Miron, Michael Arrieta and Marc Danon (Relativity Media) and Blair Ward and Anders Erdén (Orogen Entertainment) serve as executive producers, along with Lance Acord, Jackie Kelman Bisbee, Cody Ryder (Park Pictures), Brian O’Shea and Nat McCormick (The Exchange).

Sam Bisbee (Park Pictures), Thea Dunlap, Caddy Vanasirikul (The Exchange), Ryan Cunningham (Anonymous Content), and Evan Parter are producing. The film was financed by Sky and Orogen Entertainment

For more information please contact:

Tamsyn Zietsman: 07803 722461
Charlotte Mitchell: 07896 259717
Mark Pitchford: 07971 343695
Annabel Combe: 07970224771